The passage states which one of the following?

Meredith on October 2, 2019

Choice B

Can someone please answer Michelle's question on the previous thread (wouldn't let me post there)? I too picked B over A.


Skylar on October 5, 2019

@Meredith @Michelle Happy to help!

The question reads, "The passage states which of the following?" Therefore, we are looking for an answer choice that is explicitly stated in the passage. Without making any assumptions, we should be able to point directly to some information in the passage that the correct answer choice is restating.

(A) states "contingency-fee agreements serve the purpose of transferring the risk of pursuing a legal action from the client to the lawyer." This is a direct restatement of lines 53-55, which state "...they shift the risk of not recovering those costs, and of not obtaining a damages award that will pay their lawyer's fees, from the client to the lawyer." Therefore, (A) is explicitly stated by the passage and is correct.

(B) states "contingency-fee agreements of the kind the LRCWA's report recommends would normally not result in lawyers being paid larger fees than they deserve." Although this is an assumption you may be want to draw after reading the passage, it is never explicitly stated. We are told that, if the cases are won, lawyers will be awarded charges that "generally exceed regular fees" (lines 9-10). Although we know the process may place some burdens on lawyers, we cannot rule out the possibility that lawyers win most of the cases they choose to enter into these agreement on, and therefore make more money than is typical. The passage does not directly comment on this, so we should not assume anything. Moreover, it is a jump to say that lawyers being paid more than is typical is the same as lawyers being paid more than they deserve. The passage never discusses what lawyers "deserve." Since (B) is not directly stated by the passage, it is incorrect.

Does this make sense? Please let us know if you have additional questions!

Skylar on October 5, 2019

I'd also like to add that, although the second paragraph discusses restrictions "intended to prevent lawyers from gaining disproportionately," we cannot assume that this intent is successful in preventing disproportionate gain. It would be a jump in logic to say that these measures are successful simply because the intent exists.